Monday, November 12, 2007

Quotes: Speaking.

The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

The Nazis set up training courses for propaganda speakers at more than 2000 meetings a year.
Speaking 179 …set up intensive public speaking courses at special NSDAP Speakers’ Schools for the training of primitive yet forceful propaganda speakers for the many meetings being held in the countryside and small towns—more than two thousand between April 1929 and May 1930. Bracher, The German Dictatorship

Adlai Stevenson compared JFK to himself, Cicero to Demosthenes: “How well he spoke” to “Let us march.”
Speaking 70 Stevenson: Introducing the young man who had beaten him to the crowds who loved him, Stevenson said, ‘Do you remember that in classical times when Cicero finished speaking, the people said, ‘How well he spoke’--but when Demosthenes had finished speaking, the people said, ‘Let us march.’ Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Advance men who checked on local issues and sent back references before JFK arrived.
Speaking 72 In addition, two gifted magazine writers, John Bartlow Martin, who had worked in the Stevenson campaigns, and Joseph Kraft, served as literary advance men, checking on the mood and issues in localities where he was to speak, and sending back references, ideas, and language to Sorenson and Goodwin. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

His voice turned metallic.
Speaking 47 Did she imagine that his voice was suddenly metallic? Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night.

JFK knew when to discard a prepared text.
Speaking 26 His [Kennedy’s] self-confidence on the platform grew, and his ability to read--and, at the right time, to discard--a prepared text increased. Sorenson, Kennedy

Goal of JFK’s speeches: audience comprehension and comfort; short speeches, clauses, words; numbered series of points; to simplify, clarify and emphasize.
Speaking 67 Speech writing: Our chief criterion was always audience comprehension and comfort and this meant: (1) short speeches, short clauses and short words whenever possible; (2) a series of points or propositions in numbered or logical sequence...; (3) the construction of sentences, phrases and paragraphs, in such a manner as to simplify, clarify, and emphasize. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK used alliteration not only for rhetoric but to help recollection.
Speaking 68 Speech writing: He[Kennedy] was fond of alliterative sentences, not solely for reasons of rhetoric, but to reinforce the audience’s recollection of his reasoning. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK made frequent use of statistics and quotations.
Speaking 69 He [Kennedy] was not reluctant, however, particularly in those pre-1960 days, to pack his speeches with statistics and quotations. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK kept files of humor and appropriate speech endings, usually quotes or incidents from history.
Speaking 71 In addition to the humor file, we kept a collection of appropriate speech endings--usually quotations from famous figures or incidents from history which, coupled with a brief peroration of his own, could conclude almost any speech on any subject with a dramatic flourish. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK did not pre-release openings or closings to the press so he could use them a number of times.
Speaking 72 ...standard closings, like the humorous openings, were almost always omitted from his [Kennedy’s] released texts in order to facilitate their continued use elsewhere. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK gave short answers without notes and used local illustrations and specifics.
Speaking 159 But Kennedy, speaking in softer tones and shorter answers, without notes, scored with local illustrations and specifics aimed chiefly at West Virginia. Sorenson, Kennedy

When JFK arrived to give a speech, advance men briefed him on local names and color.
Speaking 194 Upon the Caroline’s arrival in each major city, the advance man came on board to brief the Senator [Kennedy] on names, faces and local color.... Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK used local lore and issues.
Speaking 199 ...preparing notes and outlines of local lore and issues for use in brief talks at airports, train stations and shopping centers. Sorenson, Kennedy

Sometimes passages in JFK’s speeches sounded better in person than in cold print.
Speaking 200 ...both he [Kennedy] and the press were sometimes surprised, upon reading the transcript of a particularly successful extemporaneous talk, to find that the passages that sounded so memorable in his impassioned delivery were less impressive in cold print. Sorenson, Kennedy

Sorenson studied the Gettysburg Address to give JFK advice on his inaugural address: Keep the words short and use one word rather than three.
Speaking 270 He [Kennedy] asked me to study the secret of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (my conclusion, which his Inaugural applied, was that Lincoln never used a two- or three- syllable word where a one-syllable word would do, and never used two or three words where one word would do). Sorenson, Kennedy

In his press conferences, JFK’s answers were brief.
Speaking 365 [Press conferences]: His [Kennedy’s] answers were almost always brief. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK’s use of statistics, without notes, in talking about the crisis in education.
Speaking 401 Without notes he [Kennedy] would cite all the discouraging statistics: only six out of every ten students in the fifth grade would finish high school; only nine of every sixteen high school graduates would go on to college; one million young Americans were already out of school and out of work; dropouts had a far higher rate of unemployment and far lower rate of income; 71% of the people, according to Gallup, expected their children to go to college but only51% had saved for it. Sorenson, Kennedy

In meeting representatives of other countries, JFK prepared by studying all the available facts about the country’s problems, politics and personalities.
Speaking 649 He [Kennedy] prepared for each of those meetings—whether it was the President of France or Togo—with a searching inquiry into all available facts about the other country, its politics, its problems and its personalities. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK was able to cite local statistics about foreign countries from memory and quoted from their writings or history.
Speaking 649 Citing their local statistics from memory, quoting from their writings or their history without notes, he [Kennedy] left his hosts and visitors both pleased and impressed. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK did not talk to governments but to the people of that country.
Speaking 652 “He [Kennedy] talked,” said Averell Harriman, “over the heads of government to the hearts of people.” Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK anticipated and answered the arguments of his opposition.
Speaking 831 In each of these presentations, he [Kennedy] anticipated and answered with precision each argument raised in opposition. Sorenson, Kennedy

Nietzsche: We can only find words for what is already dead in our heart.
Speaking 56 Nietzsche memorably told us that we find words only for what is already dead in our hearts, so that there is always a kind of contempt in the act of speaking. Bloom, Western Canon.

A bombastic speech.
Speaking 707 And now the General, with exultation in his face, got up and made an impassioned effort; he pounded the table, he banged the law books, he shouted, and roared, and howled, he quoted from everything and everybody, poetry, sarcasm, statistics, history, pathos, bathos, blasphemy, and wound up with a grand war-whoop for free speech, freedom of the press, free schools, the Glorious Bird of America and the principles of eternal justice. Twain, Roughing It

Careful and thoughtful speakers stand apart from each other to prevent heat from contact.
Speaking 435 If we are merely loquacious and loud talkers, then we can afford to stand very near together, cheek by jowl, and feel each other’s breath; but if we speak reservedly and thoughtfully, we want to be farther apart, that all animal heat and moisture may have a chance to evaporate. Thoreau, Walden.

Women give minute particulars; men give only great ideas.
Speaking 472 She will give you all the minute particulars, which only women’s language can make interesting…in our [male] communications we deal only in the great. Austen, Emma

If you eliminated the adages, commonplaces, Latin, English and Scotch expressions, his story was short.
Speaking 333 The Baron’s story was short, when divested of the adages and commonplaces, Latin, English, and Scotch, with which his erudition garnished it. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

His speech was longer than a Russian winter.
Speaking 373 Colonel Talbot: Mr. Macwheeble, this [speech] would outlast a Russian winter. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

She spoke as if she were addressing meeting.
Speaking 381 She was cold and proud and spoke as if she were addressing a meeting. T. H. White, The Once and Future King.

Rule: No more than four people may speak at the same time.
Speaking 37 …no more than four members being allowed to speak at one time…. Dickens, Sketches by Boz.

A custom: if you can’t sing a song, then you must tell a story.
Speaking 584 A custom once prevailed in old-fashioned circles, that when a lady or gentleman was unable to sing a song, he or she should enliven the company with a story. Dickens, Sketches by Boz.

The Puritan minister used homely examples.
Speaking 11 While the metaphysical preacher depended for effect on intricate literary conceits, the Puritan minister used homely examples. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

After 20 minutes, he had lost that attention of the audience, the members of which were whispering to each other.
Speaking 229 By the end of twenty minutes Sigmund had lost the attention of the audience, many of whom were whispering to each other. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

Edward Everett admitted to Lincoln that Lincoln had articulated concisely the central idea of the reason for being at Gettysburg.
Speaking 412 Everett’s opinion [of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address] was written to Lincoln the next day: “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes.” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

“Tell them….”
Speaking 20 Speech advisor: “Tell the audience what you’re going to say, say it, and then tell them what you’ve said.” Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

When making a political convention speech, you are giving two speeches: one to the audience and one to the TV audience.
Speaking 21 A [political] convention speech is two speeches--one to the hall and one to the TV viewers. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Russell Long’s speeches entertained and educated to achieve his purposes.
Speaking 67 When Russell [Long] took the floor for a speech, you knew it was time to listen, because he would educate you as well as entertain you, both in aid of his larger strategic purpose. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

The political speaker needs to find a way to identify with the local audience.
Speaking 239 Finding a way to identify with a local audience is one of the techniques of a political speaker…talk about the food…recognize and praise major office holders…acknowledge the politicians present…adapt a standard joke to a local politician…create a story out of the raw material you get at the event, stitching together a series of observations and comments people make to you…my favorite technique…. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Dr. Johnson practiced speaking precisely.
Speaking 119 Sir Joshua Reynolds once asked him by what means he had attained his extraordinary accuracy and flow of language…had early laid it down as a fixed rule to do his best on every occasion and in every company to impart whatever he knew in the most forcible language he could put it in; and that by constant practice, and never suffering any careless expressions to escape him, or attempting to deliver his thoughts without arranging them in the clearest manner, it became habitual to him. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

Speaking 984 All the great speakers were bad speakers at first. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Power.

Americans are always making speeches.
Speaking 1026 A shrewd foreigner said of the Americans, that, “whatever they say has a little the air of a speech.” Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Culture.

In conversation, everyone else is your competitor.
Speaking 1092 Conversation is an art in which a man has all mankind for his competitors, for it is that which all are practicing every day while they live. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Considerations by the Way.

A basic right: everyone has the right not to be imposed on by others’ speeches.
Speaking 839 The common Englishman is prone to forget a cardinal article in the bill of social rights, that every man has a right to his own ears: no man can usurp more than a few cubic feet of the audibilities of a public room, or to put upon the company with the loud statement of his crotchets. Emerson, English Traits.

Thinkers speak little.
Speaking 40 ...he that thinks most, will say least. Emerson, Nature.

The quality of a person’s speech tells me how much he has lived.
Speaking 62 I learn immediately from any speaker how much he has already lived, through the poverty or the splendor of his speech. Emerson, The American Scholar.

Speaking 64 The the complement of his hearers. Emerson, The American Scholar.

With his words, he draws his portrait for his hearers.
Speaking 294 With his will, or against his will, he draws his portrait to the eye of his companions by every word. Emerson, Compensation.

To speak and be understood seems easy.
Speaking 312 Nothing seems so easy as to speak and to be understood. Emerson, Spiritual Laws.

We are a lot kinder than we ever express.
Speaking 341 We have a great deal more kindness than is ever spoken. Emerson, Friendship.

A “Ley” is the longest amount of time one can speak without making any sense.
Speaking 71 The Germans facetiously defined a “Ley” as “the maximum amount of time a man could speak without saying one sensible thing.” Conot, Justice at Nuremberg.

Weapons make us strong; butter makes us fat.
Speaking 135 Goering: “We have no butter, comrades…but I ask you—would you rather have butter or guns…lard or iron ore…preparedness makes us powerful[;] butter only makes us fat”…slapping his paunch, he drew a roar of laughter and support. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg.

We spend half our lives listening to babble.
Speaking 42 The world is nothing but babble. …and yet half of our lives is lost this way. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

I speak in earnest and am unable to entertain others for extended periods of time. Speaking 193 I do not know how to speak except in earnest and I am totally lacking in that facility, which I observe in many of my acquaintances, of entertaining the first comers and keeping a whole company interested. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

It is the rare preacher who can hold my attention throughout the whole sermon.
Speaking 589 That preacher is indeed my friend who holds my attention through a whole sermon. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

The spoken word can cast a spell.
Speaking 1041 Nothing is more unaccountable than the spell that often lurks in a spoken word. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

Addressing a person as “friend” is a sign of contempt.
Speaking 711 …a man cannot…more effectually show his contempt for a brother-mortal, nor more gallingly assume a position of superiority, than by addressing him as ‘friend.’ Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance.

He spoke with so much confidence that I could not tell if he was wise or stupid.
Speaking 14 He spoke with such self-confidence that no one could be sure whether his remark was very witty or very stupid. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

He felt that his remarks which seemed so sensible before he said them came out unseemly, tactless and idiotic.
Speaking 235 Pierre had always felt that what he was saying was unseemly, tactless and not the right thing, that remarks which were sensible while they were forming in his mind became idiotic as soon as he spoke them aloud…. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

I learned that people did not want just to be informed, but to be entertained as well.
Speaking 188 I began a short series of lectures with the belief that people wanted to be informed, and soon learned that they wanted to be entertained as well. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

I had moments when I felt I was communicating to my audience, but other moments when they looked back at me stolidly and with distrust.
Speaking 189 There were inspiring moments, when I felt myself in a true communion of understanding with an attentive, eager audience, but there were too many times when I finished my peroration only to observe expressions of distrust on stolid faces, when I stepped down to hear departing women already placidly chatting of the terrible problem of getting kitchen help. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

How to give a concession speech.
Speaking 35 Elements of the concession speech: (1) a manful, rueful acknowledgment of the pain of defeat; (2) a message of congratulations to the victor, often in the form of the reading of a telegram or the recounting of a telephone conversation; (3) a pledge, sometimes made over the shouted protests of the audience, to close ranks behind the people’s choice; (4) thank you to wife, children and supporters; (5) praise for the political system; (6) assertion that what unites us as Americans is more important than what divides us; (7) a pledge to carry on the cause to which the campaign was allegedly devoted; and (8) a bit of concluding graciousness and/or ruefulness, preferably including a quotation, preferably from Lincoln. The New Yorker, Nov. 11, 1996. “The Talk of the Town.”

When Mario Cuomo is considered the equal of Pericles because he speaks in sentences, the state of public speaking in America is desperate.
Speaking 70 Gomes considers the state of public speaking in America to be desperate: “When…Mario Cuomo is compared with Pericles, merely because he speaks in complete sentences, it shows how thoroughly debased public speaking is.” The New Yorker. Nov. 11, 1996. Robert S. Boynton, “God and Harvard” about Harvard’s Peter Gomes.

Black preaching relies on vivid words, repetition and alliteration.
Speaking 70 Peter Gomes: “A lot of black preaching is ‘tornado’ preaching…relies on vivid word-painting, repetition, and rhythmic alliteration….” The New Yorker. Nov. 11, 1996. Robert S. Boynton, “God and Harvard” about Harvard’s Peter Gomes.

Hemming, hawing and coughing forewarns of a long oration.
Speaking 342 Crieress: She’s learnt the trick; she hems and haws; she coughs in preparation;/ I know the signs; my soul divines a mighty long oration. Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae.

Portrait of an effective speaker: compressed, no wasted words, concern that he is about to stop.
Speaking and listening 109 Ben Jonson on Bacon's oratory: No man…ever spoke more neatly, more (com)pressedly, more weightily, or suffered less emptiness, less idleness in what he uttered…hearers could not cough or look aside form him without loss…commanded where he spoke…fear of every man that heard him was lest that he should make an end. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

When people are listeners, others tell them their most intimate secrets.
Speaking and listening 1309 In the past he [Pierre] had talked a great deal, had got excited when he talked and had listened very little; now he was seldom carried away in conversation and knew how to listen, so that people were eager to tell him their most intimate secrets. Tolstoi, War and Peace

He spoke to us as if he were speaking to his oxen.
Speaking, tone 647 He [Silas Foster] greeted us in pretty much the same tone as if he were speaking to his oxen. Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance.

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